BETH ANNE F. WEBER
MARK D. WEBER
MICHAEL WEBER Appellant
from the Order Entered August 8, 2016 in the Court of Common
Pleas of Crawford County Civil Division at No(s): 1999-1298
BEFORE: OLSON, STABILE, and STRASSBURGER, [*] JJ.
Weber (Son) appeals from the trial court's August 8, 2016
order, dismissing his petition for special relief. Upon
review, we vacate the trial court's order and remand for
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Anne F. Weber (Wife) and Mark D. Weber (Husband), were once
married, and are the parents of two children, Son, born June
1988 and a daughter, Amanda D. Weber, born November 1994
(collectively, Children). Prior to the parties' divorce,
Husband and Wife entered into a comprehensive marital
settlement agreement. See Memorandum of Agreement as
to Divorce, 11/10/1999. Pertinent to this appeal, the
agreement contained, inter alia, the following
18. POST SECONDARY EDUCATION: Parents shall share
equally the reasonable costs of an appropriate undergraduate
college or other post-secondary education for [Children].
Husband shall notify Wife in writing 30 days in advance
before entering into any transaction in regard to investments
given to the [Children] by their paternal grandfather
including Chevron Stock and the account with National City.
All income including but not limited to interest, dividends[,
] and splits shall be reinvested in [Children's] names.
Should any action taken by Husband without Wife's written
consent in regard to these investments result in a diminution
of their value, Husband shall be solely obligated to pay such
amounts toward the post-secondary educations of [Children]
before the calculation of the parties' equal share of
Id. at 4. A divorce decree was entered on March 23,
November 19, 2007, Wife filed a petition for special relief
seeking, inter alia, enforcement of the
above-mentioned paragraph. While this petition was pending
before the trial court, Son filed a petition seeking to
"intervene in the above captioned
matter.",  Petition to Intervene, 4/30/2008, at 1
(unnumbered). That same day, the trial court issued an order
which granted Son's petition and permitted him "to
intervene and join in this action as a
plaintiff." See Order of Court,
4/30/2008 (emphasis added).
Son's intervention in the matter, a motion for voluntary
non-suit was filed by Wife, in which all parties "agreed
to the withdrawal at this time of the [p]etition before the
[trial c]ourt[.]" Motion for Voluntary NonSuit,
7/9/2008. The motion was granted by the trial court that same
other filings occurred until April 1, 2016, when Son filed a
petition for special relief, seeking to enforce paragraph 18
of the marital settlement agreement. Husband filed an answer
and new matter, denying responsibility for Son's
post-secondary education expenses and raising affirmative
defenses. Husband's Answer and New Matter, 5/26/2016.
Argument was held on July 21, 2016, and on August 8, 2016,
the trial court filed a memorandum and order dismissing
Son's petition, finding Son lacked standing to proceed in
filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied, and
this timely-filed appeal followed. On appeal, Son raises the
following issues for our consideration, which we have
reordered for ease of disposition.
I. Whether the trial court erred by raising the issue of
[Son's] standing sua sponte, without affording
the parties an opportunity to present written or oral
argument on the issue?
II. Whether the trial court erred in concluding that [Son, ]
who was permitted to intervene by Order of [the trial court]
dated April 30, 2008, lacked standing under the Divorce Code
to pursue his petition for special relief to enforce [the]
marital settlement agreement?
Son's Brief at 4 (suggested answers and unnecessary